LSU (27-8) will face No. 2-seeded UCLA (31-6), a 50-45 winner of tonight's Oakland Regional final over No. 1-seeded Memphis, on April 1 at either 6 or 8:30 p.m. CT in Indianapolis' RCA Dome. LSU and UCLA have met seven times, most recently in 1994, with the Bruins winning every contest.
The last time LSU advanced to a Final Four, the 11th seed went through the Atlanta Regional and defeated a No. 1 seed (Kentucky) along the way. That season, LSU lost to Louisville, 88-77, in the semifinal.
LSU also advanced to national semifinals in 1953 and 1981. In both seasons, LSU lost to Indiana in the semifinal before losing to Washington the in '53 third-place game and Virginia in the '81 consolation game.
LSU's post combintation of Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas dominated. Davis finished with 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the way for the Tigers, while Thomas twice overcame leg craps to score 21 points (10 of 14 from the field) and grabbed 13 boards. Thomas was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player.
Winners of 11 of their past 12 games, the Tigers finished 28-of-66 shooting (42 percent), including 4-of-6 in the overtime period. Though the Tigers were only 3-of-18 from three-point range, a trey by Davis with 3:04 left in OT gave LSU a seven-point lead that it wouldn't relinquish.
LSU made 9-of-12 free throws in overtime to finish 11 of 16 for the game. The Tigers outscored Texas, 38-10, in paint.
Texas had four players in double figures scoring, including Daniel Gibson with 15 including four three pointers. Brad Buchman had 13 points and 14 rebounds, while P.J. Tucker added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Longhorns finished just 21-of-69 shooting, including 2 of 11 in overtime. Both of those baskets were three pointers when LSU had the game in hand. Texas was 10 of 29 from three-point range.
In overtime, LSU took the tip and scored six seconds later on short jumper by Tasmin Mitchell. The Tigers then capitalized on consecutive turnovers by Texas to push the lead to seven, 59-52, on a circus layup by point guard Garrett Temple and a three pointer from the top of the key by Davis.
A pair of free throws by Texas' Buckman cut the advantage to five, but Tasmin Mitchell answered with another short jumper from the right baseline to give LSU a 61-54 lead with 1:38 to play in the extra period.
After a defensive stop, Thomas returned to the bench for the second time with cramps in his hamstrings. However, on the ensuing in-bounds play, Darrel Mitchell took a baseball pass and was fouled. His two free throws gave LSU its largest lead of the game, 63-54.
Though a Texas player clearly stepped on the sideline, Longhorn A.J. Abrams answered with a three pointer from the left corner. Texas immediately fouled. Though Davis missed the front end, LSU earned the offensive rebound and Darrel Mitchell made both. Tasmin Mitchell added another free throw for a 66-57 lead.
LSU outscored Texas, 18-8, in the overtime period.
The teams were tied at 52-52 at the end of regulation.
After a crazy sequence on the Texas end of the court with less than a minute to play that included blocked shots by Tyrus Thomas and Temple, Texas recovered the ball near mid-court and found Gibson for a game-tying three pointer with 32.1 seconds to play.
With two fouls to give before putting LSU in the bonus, Texas fouled Darrel Mitchell with 10.5 seconds to play. Making his team aware of the foul situation, LSU head coach John Brady called a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Davis tried to draw a shooting foul and quickly took a 17-foot jumper which was off the mark. Thomas' putback was blocked out of bounds to give LSU the ball with 4.6 seconds to play in regulation. Temple's potential game-winning three pointer was off the mark, sending the game to overtime.